There are many changes and re-adjustments in perception that accompany losing a spouse, and I’m reacting to some of them a bit unusually. (hmmm… insomnia, exercising, more insomnia, ear piercing, a tattoo, etc.)
One thing that’s been hard for me to adjust to is jewelry, the symbolic pieces associated with our relationship.
Bryan was always very generous with jewelry, not only the traditional pieces, but gifts at Valentine’s Day, birthdays and holidays as well. Many pieces have sentimental meaning, associated with vacations, stories, times of our life.
The hardest thing for me, really, is my wedding set. And his ring too.
For the first month or so I wore his wedding ring on a chain around my neck, and then I stopped being so consistent about putting it on and eventually didn’t need to anymore. It’s in a dish on my dresser; I see it every day.
Then wearing my wedding set started feeling strange. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not feeling like a footloose single woman at all — but wearing it and looking at it felt like clinging to something bittersweet and lovely that is gone.
On the other hand not wearing it felt strange too, like I was denying the immense importance of our relationship in my life and the love that I will always feel for him.
So, after reflection, I reached a compromise. I’m having a local jewelry designer recast the gold and reset the stone – plus another loose peridot Bryan had given me Valentine’s day, right before I lost him – into a different ring for my right hand.
As a (very) amateur metalsmith this seems like a really positive choice. I’m going forward, holding on to the important pieces in meaningful ways, and using those materials to create something new and beautiful.
I’m having the jeweler make a set of two, stackable rings, one yellow gold with my wedding diamond set in a white gold bezel, and one white gold with the peridot stone set in a yellow gold bezel. As my taste in jewelry is a bit artisanal, the metal will be hammered, satin finish, not mirror perfect.
They’ll be ready in 5 weeks; I’m excited to see and wear them!